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Halloween Part #1 – The Celebration

With the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)

So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s begin our 5 part series on Halloween:

A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)

  1. A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats
  2. A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
  3. A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
  4. A Summary of Our Study On Halloween

May the Lord be glorified in our study….

THE SCRIPTURE:

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.(Eph 5:8-13)

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.(Rom 13:12-14)

THE STUDY:

A Brief History of Halloween:

The Celtic New Years Day, November 1st was set apart for the observance of the feast of Samhain. This day was set apart to worship Samhain the “lord of the dead” or “the lord of darkness”.

The evening before this celebration, the last day of the Celtic calendar (October 31st ) was set aside as a holiday to honor and pacify the dead.  The pagans believed that, on October 31st, dead souls and demons walked the streets at night on their way to the place of the dead.   During the celebration, costumes and masks were worn in the hopes of keeping away the evil spirits. They would leave gifts of food for these beings to insure peace with them for the coming year (modern-day “trick or treat”).

Bonfires also held a major role in the observance, with the burning of animal remains resulting in purification of sin and the preparation of entrance into a new year.

The Catholic church tried to “Christianize” this holiday by changing it name to “Hallows Eve” (the evening before All Saints Day a day set aside for the honoring of the Catholic saints.)

For further information about the history of Halloween please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween  and http://www.holidayinsights.com/halloween/samhain.htm

Many beliefs surrounding the Halloween celebration run contrary to Scripture…

  1. The worship of “the lord of darkness”
  2. the belief that the spirits of the dead roam the earth
  3. the presentation of offerings to the dead
  4. the purification of sin through animal sacrifices

All of these, plus many others, clearly go against the principles of Scripture.

If there was one word that best describes the Halloween celebration it is the word “darkness”.   Everything about the holiday centers on the occult, the dark forces of this world, and the darkness of spiritual blindness being clearly on display.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

Not only should we be aware of the history of Halloween, but also the principles laid out in the Scriptures that should apply to each of our lives.

In our two texts, in both cases, the basic principle is that a Christian is to be separated from the works of the darkness of this world…

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

let us therefore cast off the works of darkness”

Also, remember that we are to be completed separated from these works….

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light”

“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”

“let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

Why are we to make certain we are not taking part in the works of darkness?…

Our testimony is at stake…

“now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

The time is short before His coming…. We must reach the lost with our testimony…

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand:”

The level of our participation in the Halloween observances is between each Christian and his Lord.  We need to prayerfully consider the history of Halloween as well as the principles of the Word of God.  May the Lord lead and guide each of us as we continue our study of Halloween.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

What is necessary for your life, is to turn from your sin to Christ (repentance) and place your faith in Him as the only way of salvation.  You can do nothing to save yourself but the Lord Jesus Christ, came to the earth and died on the cross for the sins of His people.  He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, so those who look to Him will not be punished.

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(Gal 1:3-5)

For more information on salvation. please feel free to click on the blog page entitled “How To Have A Relationship With God…. Forgiveness… Salvation” for much more information.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Free, Free Indeed! (Independence Day – July 4th Devotional)

SIH STSTA ICONWe, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”   http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/doi/text.html

These famous words make up the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the document that declared our freedom from the British Kingdom.  As a country based upon freedom and civil rights we have been blessed greatly by God.  And although these freedoms are not permanent in nature (it seems as if some of these freedoms may be slipping through our fingers); I can easily declare that the United States of America is still the greatest and most blessed country in the world.  It is a privilege to live here.

The saddest part of our celebration of our Independence is that we have forgotten to thank our Lord for the freedom He has given to us!  If you notice, in the very same paragraph that declares our freedoms, the founding fathers declared the source of their strength as they stood in opposition to the British government…. “, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence”.  That’s right!  Our founding fathers made it plain that they had the courage to stand up and declare our freedom from Britain because they were trusting in the providence of Almighty God to protect them.

Even John Adams, as he wrote to his wife Abigail, referenced the need to worship and honor God on the anniversary of his signing the declaration (July 2nd)…

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)

As great as these freedoms are, our Lord offers us even greater, eternal freedoms that can never be lost or taken.  Why do so many of us totally disregard these freedoms, and their Giver, as well?

THE SCRIPTURE:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Joh 8:31-36)

THE STUDY:

Our Lord, in His Word declares that we can receive freedom from our sin in three different ways (Rom 6:7-23):

Firstly, we can receive freedom from our sin’s penalty (Rom 5:16)

Second, we can be continually made free from sin’s power in our lives (Rom 6:18)

Finally, we can be made free from sin’s presence throughout eternity (Rom 6:22)

This is true freedom which can never be taken away nor lost.  Our Lord offers this freedom from sin to anyone who will trust in Him and turn from their sin to serve Him as Lord of their life.   (Acts 26:18)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been liberated from their sin… we should praise and thank our Lord for all the freedoms He has so graciously given to us.  Also, we should want to share His message of truth to the world so that they might share in this freedom as well.

For those who have never been freed from sin and it’s effects in your life, look to the Lord, His word and His work, for the source of true liberty from sin.  Read John 8:12-51 for more information.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”(Joh 8:36)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Read my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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